- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 diseases erupted in China in mid-December, yet the communist regime told the U.S. and the world that the virus was only transmitted animal-to-human.

Dr. Fauci, an influential member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, told the Fox News show “Watters’ World” over the weekend that as the disease spread to more people in mid-January in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province, the Chinese government said that human contagion was minimal, a fact that shaped for weeks the outside world’s sense of the danger and the appropriate response.

Both assertions were “clearly not correct … that was misinformation right from the beginning,” he said.

COVID-19 was, in fact, a highly contagious and deadly disease.

“Early on we did not get correct information, and the incorrect information was propagated right from the beginning,” Dr. Fauci said.

Republicans have accused the Chinese Communist Party, the dictatorship ruling the country, of deliberately concealing the virus’ spread. Chinese authorities threatened eight doctors with prison for trying to warn the world on social media about what would become a global pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Anthony Fauci ‘cautiously optimistic’ on starting ‘rolling’ reopening of U.S.

The White House says that while China was hiding disease facts, it was also buying up lots of medical equipment around the world. When COVID-19 spread to other nations and began sickening and killing patients, China’s propaganda machine went into action, making the unfounded assertion that the U.S. Army planted the virus in Wuhan.

Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had himself relied on the Chinese disinformation to downplay COVID-19’s threat to America.

“This is not a major threat for the people in the United States, and this is not something the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about,” he told Newsmax as late as Jan. 21, when the virus began spreading on the West Coast.

Dr. Fauci told “Watters’ World” on Saturday that “it was in January, at a time when the Chinese were saying first that it was only going from an animal to a human and then, when there were human cases, that [they] looked like they were … inefficiently transmitted. It was at that time in mid-January that we made the statement.”

He told his host that if that had been true, he’d be accurate in saying the coronavirus would not be “a major threat outside of China.”

The World Health Organization, criticized by Republicans as in bed with Chinese rulers, repeated China’s disinformation with a tweet that said there was no direct evidence of human-to-human spread, even though physicians in Wuhan had been issuing warnings.

On Jan. 23, WHO said COVID-19 was not a global health emergency. It eventually declared the disease a global pandemic.

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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